Child Neglect, Social Context, and Educational Outcomes: Examining the Moderating Effects of School and Neighborhood Context

By Chapple, Constance L.; Vaske, Jamie | Violence and Victims, July 1, 2010 | Go to article overview

Child Neglect, Social Context, and Educational Outcomes: Examining the Moderating Effects of School and Neighborhood Context


Chapple, Constance L., Vaske, Jamie, Violence and Victims


Research on child neglect has found that neglected children are more likely to experience worse developmental outcomes than non-neglected children. These negative outcomes include antisocial behavior as well as poor school performance. Eco-developmental theory has found that adverse social contexts often worsen these outcomes for neglected and maltreated youths. However, little research has been done on the educational outcomes of neglected children and none of it has employed a national, longitudinal, community sample with an examination of social context. We do so in our research and find that several types of child neglect significantly predict a variety of poor educational outcomes at the bivariate level and that physical and educational neglect were significantly associated with a composite measure of school problems in multivariate analysis. We offer several explanations for our findings and future directions for research.

Keywords: child neglect; educational outcomes; community organization; school organization; eco-developmental theory

Each year, nearly half a million children in the United States are victims of child neglect (Sedlak & Broadhurst, 1996 ). Neglected children often face severe developmental challenges such as poor school performance (Eckenrode, Laird, & Doris, 1993; Leiter & Johnsen, 1997; Thornberry, Ireland, & Smith, 2001 ) and antisocial behavior (Ireland, Smith, & Thornberry, 2002; Zingraff, Leiter, Myers, & Johnsen, 1993 ). Clearly, neglected children are not confined to families alone but also belong to communities and attend schools. However, few studies of child neglect or child maltreatment in general have examined the moderating role that social context plays in the developmental outcomes of neglected children (Zielinski & Bradshaw, 2006 ).

Research indicates that the ill effects of child neglect are pernicious (Chapple, Tyler, & Bersani, 2005 ) and that child neglect, unlike physical abuse, is most likely a deficit of early childhood, which can produce serious developmental deficits. Current studies of child neglect have focused on individual processes, such as emotional regulation, attachment disorders, and association with deviant peers (Bolger & Patterson, 2001; Bolger, Patterson, & Kupersmidt, 1998; Chapple et al., 2005; De Paul & Arruabarrena, 1995; Herrenkohl, Huang, Tajima, & Whitney, 2003; Maughan & Cicchetti, 2002 ) while the social context of child neglect has rarely been investigated (see Coulton, Korbin, & Su, 1999; Garbarino & Sherman, 1980 for exceptions). The research that has examined the social context of child neglect has done so with global measures of child maltreatment, leaving unanswered the question of whether child neglect is uniquely influenced by social context.

We know that young, disadvantaged mothers are most likely to neglect their children (Coulton et al., 1999 ), but we have little information on the community and school contexts in which neglected children live and go to school. Prior research on child maltreatment using eco-developmental theory has focused primarily on antisocial behavior, with relatively little attention to educational outcomes (Coulton et al., 1999; Garbarino & Sherman, 1980; Stouthamer-Loeber, Wei, Homish, & Loeber, 2002 ). However, as researchers acknowledge, educational difficulties often have long-term repercussions into adulthood. According to ecological theory, children are nested within micro, meso, and macro contexts that exert independent and multiplicative effects on development (Bronfenbrenner, 1977; Garbarino, 1992). These contexts have both proximal and distal effects (Zielinski & Bradshaw, 2006 ) on children's behavior and cross-level interactions are assumed. In such a scenario, school and community organization may act as either a risk or a protective factor for neglected children's educational outcomes. We address the question of whether social context moderates the effects of child neglect on children's educational outcomes with a prospective, longitudinal, community sample of children and their mothers.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Child Neglect, Social Context, and Educational Outcomes: Examining the Moderating Effects of School and Neighborhood Context
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.